Quality of life in patients with bronchiectasis: a 2-year longitudinal study

Anil Magge, Shehryar Ashraf, Alexandra L. Quittner, Mark L. Metersky


Background: Bronchiectasis is a condition of increasing incidence and prevalence in the United States, defined by the presence of bronchial dilatation on chest-computed tomography. Most patients suffer from chronic daily cough and sputum production. Patients suffering from this disease often have a poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL), with increased morbidity and mortality, and increased health care burden. Little is known about trends in HRQoL among patients with bronchiectasis, therefore, we examined these trends over 2 years using a bronchiectasis-specific HRQoL instrument.
Methods: We present data obtained from administering the Quality of Life-Bronchiectasis (QOL-B) questionnaires at three time points: (I) baseline at the time of first visit to the University of Connecticut Center for Bronchiectasis Care; (II) 1 year follow-up; and (III) a 2-year follow-up. Responses from the 36-item questionnaire evaluate eight scales (Physical Functioning, Role Functioning, Vitality, Emotional Functioning, Social Functioning, Treatment Burden, Health Perceptions, and Respiratory Symptoms); scores are standardized on a 0–100 point scale with higher scores indicating better HRQoL.
Results: Twenty-six patients provided baseline QOL-B data, with seven lost to follow-up, leaving nineteen patients in the longitudinal study. Statistically significant improvement between the initial visit and the one-year follow-up visit was shown in three of the eight domains: Physical Functioning, Role Functioning, and Health Perceptions. At 2 years, these improved HRQoL scores were generally maintained.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates patients with bronchiectasis can demonstrate improved HRQoL after treatment at a specialized care center and these improvements are maintained for most patients 2 years after the initial visit.